Big turnout for Constitution Avenue public meeting

Neighborhoods oppose extending Constitution, saying a thoroughfare would undermine safe, historic areas
News  /  Civics/Politics

A big crowed turned out on Jan. 21 to discuss Constitution Avenue project. (Photo courtesy Skip Mundy)

Last Saturday, residents flooded Stratton Elementary School for a meeting about the proposed extension of Constitution Avenue to Interstate 25.

The project is not included in the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority’s list of projects but it is included in the city’s ConnectCOS plan. We wrote about the meeting last week.

Thomas Murawski, vice president of the 2400 Wood Avenue homeowners association, which represents townhome owners in an area just west of Penrose Hospital, tells Sixty35 news magazine by phone that after about 300 people jammed into the school, another 150 to 250 were turned away and either went to Mann Middle School nearby where a remote link was set up or home to watch the meeting online.

“An important message was the nonverbal one of what may be a record setting number of residents at a meeting involving traffic,” Murawski says.

Judging by a show of hands, he says, most if not all of those who attended oppose the extension.

Murawski notes that extensive research and analysis about building roads to ease congestion works only temporarily.

“Within five to 10 years, the congestion is back,” he says. “An expressway is a temporary solution to congestion that will do permanent harm to neighborhoods.”

The meeting was hosted by District 5 City Councilor Nancy Henjum, who Murawski says “did a very nice job of setting a respectful tone.”

He noted two police cruisers were stationed outside the building but “were probably unnecessary.”

Another meeting is in the planning stages, but a time, date and place has not yet been announced.

Meantime, the Citizens Transportation Advisory Board meets at 5 p.m. on Feb. 7 at City Hall, he says, adding, “Our hope is people will turn out for the CTAB meeting as well.”

From there, the proposal goes to Planning Commission and, ultimately, to City Council, he says.

But as Murawski says, “The process is only just beginning.”

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